INSPIRED IMPACT is an ongoing blog series that gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of mission-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
The Children’s Diabetes Foundation is the fundraising arm of the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes in Aurora, CO. The Barbara Davis Center is one of the top centers in the world that focuses on all aspects of type 1 diabetes – clinical care, research, emotional support, etc. The Children’s Diabetes Foundation supports all of the Barbara Davis Center’s initiatives and has several programs of our own, such as providing financial support for those in need, education and awareness programs, support groups, volunteer programs, social events, etc.
WHY DO YOU DO IT?
Imagine a disease that occupies your thoughts all day long, without a break and requires hundreds of life-threatening or life-saving decisions a day – This is type 1 diabetes.
More than 40 years ago, when the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center were created, diabetes looked like a completely different disease. Today, we have a great deal of technology and medications that make diabetes management fit into the patient’s life, not the other way around. But we haven’t reached the finish line. Diabetes requires constant management and the physical, emotional, and social stress that diabetes can cause is ever-present in a diabetic, and their family’s, lives. The Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center are fighting to improve patient lives by providing the best possible patient care, providing support groups, educating the public, and doing research to prevent diabetes, reduce its complications, and eventually, find a cure.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
The Barbara Davis Center is currently researching every diabetes technology device projected to come to the market in the next three years. This technology is a game-changer for patients’ blood sugars AND for their daily lives. The Barbara Davis Center also has incredible teams working on stem cells and biological cures for diabetes. Their passion is incredibly inspiring and we love seeing the strides they are making. And finally, by bringing people affected by diabetes together (whether it’s at a support group, social event, or in the diabetes online community), we are making life with this disease more bearable. Diabetes management is incredibly different for each individual, but when we talk about it, we realize that we are not alone.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
Every single person living with type 1 diabetes. Meeting these strong individuals, whether they’re a child or have been living with this disease for decades, they inspire us. This disease takes so much strength, commitment, and forethought. We do it for all those who live with this disease and keep a smile on their face through the high and low blood sugars.
WHAT’S YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
Insulin is a treatment for this disease, but it’s not a cure. We dream of the day when those who have tackled the physical, emotional, and social battles of type 1 diabetes can say “I HAD diabetes.” Until then, we’ll be here to provide financial, emotional, and social support for every type 1 family that we can.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE?
The obvious answer to this is funds! Diabetes research is not a cheap venture. It takes the best and brightest minds and state-of-the-art equipment to continue learning about this disease and how to reverse or prevent it. And in the meantime, diabetes is among the most expensive conditions to have. Without insulin, a type 1 will not survive, but it can cost anywhere between $300 (for small children) and $1,000 per month (adults). The Children’s Diabetes Foundation is here to support the many families that struggle to produce those funds, when all they want is to keep their child alive.
WHAT IS (OR HAS BEEN) YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
A majority of the world does not understand type 1 diabetes. Many people think they ate too much sugar, didn’t exercise enough, or are just generally unhealthy, but that’s simply not the case. It’s an autoimmune disease and the patients did nothing to get this disease. People think there is an easy solution, but until a cure is found, they will have type 1 diabetes for their entire lives.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
If you believe, others will follow. We know there is a brighter future ahead for type 1 diabetes and one day, we’ll get there if we keep working together.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
Please consider donating to the Children’s Diabetes Foundation to support the patients, doctors, and research being done at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes. Visit our website to learn more.
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